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New and Necessary—Irish Pages Press

A Statement from the Irish Pages Press/Cló An Mhíl Bhuí

Publishing outstanding books in English & Irish

This is an auspicious period for the development of a new high-profile literary press firmly rooted in Belfast and Ireland. With the recent closure or contraction of several Northern presses, Irish Pages Ltd (the non-profit publisher of Irish Pages and The Irish Pages Press, and the organiser of Crossways Festival in Glasgow) is uniquely qualified for this important cultural endeavour, after 17 years of publishing Ireland’s premier literary journal. It possesses the literary experience, distribution networks and financial health sufficient to launch a book publishing programme of the highest quality, comparable to any in these islands.

Although Irish Pages as a journal published three previous titles – Unfinished Ireland: Essays on Hubert Butler (2003), Balkan Essays by Hubert Butler (2016), and The Other Tongues: An Introduction to Writing in Irish, Scots Gaelic and Scots in Ulster and Scotland (2016) – late 2018 saw the launch of the Press in the sense of an annual programme of major book-publishing, under its new bilingual imprint, The Irish Pages Press/Cló an Mhíl Bhuí.

Currently, the Press is limited to poetry, essays, memoir and other forms of non-fiction (including the graphic novel form), in both English and Irish.

Three opening poetry titles were published in late 2018:  Crann na Teanga/The Language Tree by Cathal Ó Searcaigh, drawn from 16 previous collections, and translated by Paddy Bushe; a first collection of poems by Ciarán O’Rourke, The Buried Breath; and a long-awaited fourth collection of poems by Chris Agee (editor of Irish Pages), Blue Sandbar Moon, following his previous critically-acclaimed volume, Next to Nothing (2009). The Divil Knows What, by Tom Mac Intyre – a posthumous selected edition of his poetry, prose and drama in both English and Irish – is scheduled for release in Autumn 2020. Our full publishing programme for the coming year (4-6 titles), predominantly non-fiction, will be announced in Summer 2020.

The Irish Pages Press will always be characterized by two essential and necessary components, flowing from the standards of the journal in an age of media noise and publishing hyperbole: literary content of exceptional quality, and production values (mainly hardback) unsurpassed by any in these islands. Apart from issues of finance, the sole criteria for publication by the Press will be the distinction of the writing and the integrity and independence of the individual voice.

We urge all those interested in submitting manuscripts to The Irish Pages Press/Cló An Mhíl Bhuí to familiarize themselves both with the journal and the Press, preferably by purchasing a recent issue or title. You can do so online under “Archive and Order” at www.irishpages.

We are very unlikely to consider manuscripts by new authors without book publicationwho have no significant publication record, or one consisting mainly of self-published or heavily online work. Instead, we strongly recommend that you first submit a limited extract of your work to Irish Pages, which will be considered in the usual way for forthcoming issues.

However, finished manuscripts are welcome from emergent and established writers with a significant publication record, especially those resident (regardless of background) in Ireland and Scotland. No electronic submissions will be accepted: submissions should be sent by post (for our full address, see the “Contact” section of our website). In particular, established authors (currently with or without past publishers) are encouraged to contact the Editors to discuss available manuscripts that are fully completed. Full details available at www.irishpages.org

By Chris Agee